Essays Youth Criminal Justice Act

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People were outraged and lost faith in the system in which they relied on.

This brought a new act into place called the Young Offenders Act which was replaced by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

According to Watson and Austin: “The Children’s Act 1908, heralded as the Children’s chapter, was a highly progressive measure; the most important of its provisions was the establishing of the separate juvenile court from which the public were to be excluded” .

The first juvenile system was based on the welfare model whereby the state is deemed to be the principal responsible for the well being and successful living of its citizens.

However, this chain of reforms, legislative amendments and policy adaptations is said to have found its end of days when the New Labour was elected in government just before the turn of the Millennium.

In particular, the first wave of youth justice radical reforms took place with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, which laid the foundations of a new paradigm on which the system was going to be based.As a result, the governmental machinery is the primary guardian of peace and order and no other power can override this.This is expressed in the different public institutions that this Act introduced and which were meant to educate young offenders.The first step towards this separation was taken with the Youthful Offender Act 1854 and the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879 which introduced special reformatories for juveniles.The biggest reform, however, was achieved with the Children’s Act 1908 as after its introduction, juvenile justice begun taking shape as a distinctive way of dealing with young offenders.Steven Truscott was a 14 year old boy who was sentenced to life in prison after being accused of the murder of Lynn Harper.It was June 9, 1959 when Lynne Harper, a 12 year old girl, was heading towards a nearby school after having family dinner with her parents Leslie and Shirley. Lynn clambered onto the handlebars of the 14-year-old boy's bike and they pedaled off.As a consequence, the new Labour government released a consultation, which led to the well-known White Paper “No More Excuses: A New Approach to Tackling Youth Crime in England and Wales” .There, it was stressed that juveniles need a less punitive and more inclusive approach which can make them understand and more importantly acknowledge the harm they cause when committing crime.After a serious criticism that was launched against the youth system through a report of the Audit Commission, the government was forced to take some serious measures to rectify the increased crime and recidivism rates.In particular, the Audit Commission in its 1996 report said that the youth system has so far been ineffective and expensive and that urgent radical reforms were needed .


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